The Air Cars
Compressed air is an energy vector that can be used, in a viable way, to transport both people and goods.
The main goal of Air Car Factories is to develop and manufacture a vehicle driven by a compressed air engine with a level of performance that will respond to the actual needs of today’s market. With this aim we have drawn up a full agenda and an R&D plan of action for production start up.
The Air Car prototype was reported in South Africa on Tuesday, 24 October, 2000, which designers say runs on air. It was being predicted that the e.Volution will be able to travel up to 200km (120 miles) for only 30 US cents. It was expected to sell in South Africa for about R74,000 ($10,000) which is on a par with a medium-sized saloon car. The compression engine technology was pioneered by a former French formula one engineer Guy Negre, who has spent years searching for an alternative to the traditional oil-fuelled engine. The piston engine is powered by the release of compressed air which is stored in tanks, very similar to scuba diving tanks, attached to the underside of the car.The body of the vehicle weighs only 700kg, and the engine itself is a mere 35kg.This means that the vehicle can theoretically be driven for up to 10 hours in an urban environment at an average speed of 80km/h. The designers of e.Volution say it will be possible to merely plug the vehicle into any electrical power source to fill it up. That could take up to four hours. But the manufacturers envisage that fleet owners could install their own air stations, where a fill up could take as little as three minutes. South Africa will be the second country after France to open a factory and begin production.VIA
Tata Motors, India largest automotive company, on Feb. 5, 2007 announced that it has signed an agreement with Moteur Development International (MDI) of France, inventors of the car, to develop a car that runs on compressed air, thus making it very economical to run and be almost totally pollution free.
MDI explains that 90m3 of compressed air is stored in fibre tanks. The engine is powered by compressed air, stored in a carbon-fiber tank at 30 MPa (4500 psi). The tank is made of carbon-fiber in order to reduce its weight. The engine has injection similar to normal engines, but uses special crankshafts and pistons, which remain at top dead center for about 70 degrees of the crankshaft's cycle; this allows more power to be developed in the engine.
The expansion of this air pushes the pistons and creates movement. The atmospheric temperature is used to re-heat the engine and increase the road coverage. The air conditioning system makes use of the expelled cold air. Due to the absence of combustion and the fact there is no pollution, the oil change is only necessary every 50 000 km.The end product is a light weigh vehicle that can reach speeds up to 220 kmph.
Unlike electric or hydrogen powered vehicles, MDI vehicles are not expensive and do not have a limited driving range. MDI cars are affordable and have a performance rate that stands up to current standards.
Two technologies have been developed to meet different needs:
* Single energy compressed air engines.
* Dual energy compressed air plus fuel engines.
The single energy engines will be available in both MiniCATs and CityCATs. These engines have been conceived for city use, where the maximum speed is 50 km/h and where MDI believes polluting will soon be prohibited.
The duel energy engine, on the other hand, has been conceived as much for the city as the open road and will be available in all MDI vehicles. The engines will work exclusively with compressed air while it is running under 50 km/h in urban areas. But when the car is used outside urban areas at speeds over 50 km/h, the engines will switch to fuel mode. The engine will be able to use gasoline, gas oil, bio diesel, gas, liquidized gas, ecological fuel, alcohol, etc.
Both engines will be available with 2, 4 and 6 cylinders, When the air tanks are empty the driver will be able to switch to fuel mode, thanks to the car's on board computer.
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